This photo provided by the National Weather Service was taken by Tom Janssen II at Murphy Park, which was hit by the tornado. It shows the waterspout just after if developed, around 6:15 p.m.

EGG HARBOR — The National Weather Service is marking the anniversary of the August 1998 tornado that came on shore near Egg Harbor, snapping and uprooting thousands of trees as it made its way across the Peninsula.

A strong tornado struck a rural section of central Door county in northeast Wisconsin during the evening of Aug. 23, 1998.

Monday was the 23rd anniversary, according to a social media post from the National Weather Service.

The multiple-vortex tornado was on the ground for nearly 14 minutes, and carved a path of damage 5.1 miles long, and 1/4 to over 1/2 mile wide at times. Damage was estimated at nearly $7 million, according to the damage report from the National Weather Service.

The tornado, which moved off the waters of Green Bay, moved on shore three miles southwest of Egg Harbor at 6:30 p.m., near Horseshoe Bay.

Thousands of trees were snapped or uprooted as the tornado moved across the heavily wooded area in Murphy Park. The width of the damage path just after it came on shore was nearly one-half mile.

The tornado then crossed Highway 42 at about 6:34 p.m., severely damaging several houses and businesses.

About three minutes later the tornado ripped a two-story farm house off its foundation.

Based on the house’s construction, damage in this area was rated F3 (EF3), with winds estimated near 160 mph.

Nearby, a campground was hit, causing considerable damage there to trees and campers.

Amazingly, only two people were injured.

The tornado weakened shortly thereafter, lifting off the ground three miles west-northwest of Jacksonport at around 6:44 p.m.


By Dan Plutchak

Editor and publisher of the Door County Shore Report